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The Chicago based artist Gerry Lang, was born into the Native American based “Colored” community of Winton, North Carolina. Upon moving at an early age with his parents to Virginia, they were obliged to move into the African American based “Colored” community of Truxton, in Portsmouth Virginia. Thus began a very perplexing period in his life, and also became the source of much of his art. He studied Studio Art at Hampton Institute, Hampton Virginia, and received his MFA at Michigan State University, East Lansing Michigan.

Beginning in 1968, Lang was invited back to Hampton, where he served as Professor of Art for fifteen years. It was a very fertile and dynamic time. Gerry expressed the Boldness and Beauty of that rewarding and rigorous time through his art. Finding inspiration in the character and talent of his African American Professors, friends and students, he created mini-malist “Modular Unite Clay Constructions” and monumental “Cookies Jars.” These works were exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond Virginia, the Chrysler Museum of Art, in Norfolk Virginia, and Historically Black Universities.

Lang was awarded an Art Residency at Cite Internationale Des Art, in Paris France, in 1981. There he discovered that being an artist from the United States held more interest to the Parisians, than his ethnicity. This freedom to just “Be”, led to a solo exhibition in Paris, and inclusion in two international exhibitions; one in Paris, the other in Tunisia. The performance artist, Joan Jonas, performing at the American Center in Paris, inspired a series of drawings questioning gender roles in the USA, and were followed by photography and his discovery of the “Portrait Plate,” while skiing in Switzerland.

In 1989, he opened Hand Heart Mind Studio Gallery In Geneva Illinois, and embraced this paradigm shift. This be-came a very exciting and prolific time for him. He curated “Standing In Sunshine,” an exhibition that included Ameri-can Indian and non – Indian artists.

Lang also taught art classes, and began painting and creating “Dream Bowls” and “Prayer Bowls” in terra cotta and porcelain.

With this work, he began developing the visual vocabulary he uses in expressing his Meherrin-Chowanoke ancestry.

Upon relocating to Chicago, Lang was invited

to create art in public spaces with Chicago Public Art Group, The Illinois Arts Council, The National Museum Of Mexican Art, After School Matters, and The DuSable Museum of African American History. He recently curated “Standing In Sunshine: Chicago,” an exhibition hosted by The Clift Dwellers, Chicago, that included some of the most noteworthy Chicago Indian artists.

Since being in Chicago, I have facilitated or collabo-rated in the designing and creation of over twenty public art mural and sculpture projects… encouraging participants to look deeply into their own beauty and their own culture for inspiration. “Indian Land Dancing,” a massive bricolage mural, was a collaboration of the Chicago Indian community and Chicago Public Art Group and is located at Foster and Lake Shore Drive. “Eugene’s Dream,”

is a 10 ft. x 47 ft. ceramic and broken tile mosaic mural, depicting images of the children’s poetry of Eugene Field, and is located at Eugene Field Park’s Field House, Chicago Park District.

My studio work is organized around Storytelling. It speaks of identity and re-remembering the parts of me that went into exile. It is an out-picturing of my inner world and the collective unconscious. Beauty, Truth and “Quantum Memory,”

await me there. I enter through dreams, meditation, my daily life, and from living in and being a part of several racial and cultural traditions.Gerry is a member of the Meherrin - Chowanoke Indian Nation of North Carolina currently resides and makes his art in the Chicago artist community of Pilsen.


"Have something wonderful made for someone you love." Gerry Lang • Cell: 773.203.2361 •


American Indian, Chicago Muralist Studio Artist, Educator 


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